Second Republic Governor of old Kaduna State and Chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, Mr. Balarabe Musa, has asked Senate President, Bukola Saraki to step down as Senate President as a show of respect for his office.
Musa said, “First of all, it depends on his conscience. If he knows that the allegations against him have anything bordering on genuineness and if he knows that he has not done anything above board, he should succumb to his conscience.
“In honour of the institution he represents, it is therefore best for him to resign in order not to undermine the position of the judge.
“If he knows that there are elements of truth in the allegations against him, he should not cost the government so much in court and thereby undermine the integrity of the bench; he should just resign. He is still young; he still has a lot of opportunities.”
Also, the Coalition against Corrupt Leaders called for Saraki’s resignation.
The Executive Chairman, CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said, “He should resign for now. If he is found to be innocent, then Nigerians would have reason to apologise to him and his dignity will be restored. If he continues to hold on to power, he is likely to lose more dignity; nobody will respect him for doing so.”
Similarly, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project described Nigeria as a peculiar place, where issues of probity, integrity and adherence to the rule of law would be questioned and politicians would continue to remain in public office “as if those things don’t matter.”
According to the Executive Director of SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, in saner climes, when public figures would have such burden on them, the first thing to do would be to get off the seat to clear their name by virtue of the rule of law and due process.
Mumuni said, “If people are saying he should resign, I also support that move because as the number three man in Nigeria, he has not set a very good example. It is not a question of ‘If I was not declared senate president, nobody will remember what I did 10 years ago.’ Why didn’t he declare his assets when he was governor?
“If we are talking about equity, then we must be able to come to equity with clean hands. That is the way I see it. I have never been a subscriber to the idea of witch-hunting. Why can’t they just follow the law? The question of witch-hunting, to me, is neither here nor there. Did they comply with the law? I don’t believe in the idea that they have enemies somewhere.
“Why shouldn’t we do what is needful and proper and we now start talking about witch-hunting? Matters of criminal infraction don’t have limitations. I have never seen a defence to an infraction of law where one would say, ‘Some people were not dealt with, so I cannot be dealt with.’”
Also, the Convener, Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, faulted those who call Saraki’s trial a witch-hunt. He said the Senate President should resign.
He said, “I believe it will be good for the Senate and the country – for political responsibility – for Bukola Saraki to resign. Unless that is done, his political influence will interfere in the process.”
In the same vein, the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform said even though Saraki remained innocent until the tribunal finds him guilty, it had become morally necessary for the Senate President to resign from office.
Convener of CODER, Chief Ayo Opadokun, who was the General Secretary of the National Democratic Coalition and an ex-Secretary-General of the Afenifere, said it was not possible for all lawbreakers in the country to be tried at once. He said, “They have to be picked one by one.”
He said although other lawmakers in the National Assembly might have committed similar offences on assets declaration, Saraki’s trial would serve as a good lesson to others.
Opadokun said, “Saraki’s trial has more fundamental dimension because of the fact that someone crookedly emerged as leader of the Nigerian legislature and he has been charged for false declaration (of assets), which is a criminal offence and which carries significant punishment fashioned by the Nigerian criminal law system.
“He should resign to face the charges against him. He should have resigned long ago.”

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